by Rachel Kapelke-Dale
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Pub Date 06 Dec 2022 | Archive Date 20 Dec 2022
My Dark Vanessa meets The Queen's Gambit in this new novel of suspense about the bonds of family, the limits of talent, the risks of ambition, and the rewards of revenge.
When former piano prodigy Saskia Kreis returns home to Milwaukee after her mother's unexpected death, she expects to inherit the family estate, the Elf House. But with the discovery that her mother's will bequeathed the Elf House to a man that Saskia shares a complicated history with, she is forced to reexamine her own past––and the romantic relationship that changed the course of her life––for answers. Can she find a way to claim her heritage while keeping her secrets buried, or will the fallout from digging too deep destroy her?
Set against a post #MeToo landscape, Rachel Kapelke-Dale's The Ingenue delves into mother-daughter relationships, the expectations of talent, the stories we tell ourselves, and what happens when the things that once made you special are taken from you. Moving between Saskia's childhood and the present day, this dark, contemporary fairy tale pulses with desire, longing, and uncertainty, as it builds to its spectacular, shocking climax.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 173 members
This book is so well done. While the beginning was a wee bit slow, keep going and you will be rewarded exponentially. The plot was well thought out. Backstories were excellently sprinkled throughout the novel, and the characters were very well developed. I highly recommend this book. It is one of few books that I could not manage to figure out what was going to happen.
I love time jumps when done appropriately and Rachel pulls it off with amazing success. It’s pleasing to see how she painted the relationship dynamics from character to character. Rachel navigates the reader through the premise with intricate details woven in at the right time. This should be on everyone’s TBR or at least in your beach bag collection. High praises for her storytelling.
I really enjoyed the fairytales for feminists and the overall story in THE INGENUE, along with the themes of an aging prodigy and familial relationships. Saskia is a complicated character and not everyone will like her, which is okay. The setting, especially the Elf House, is quite atmospheric, almost gothic, and the author does a terrific job at setting the scene. The plot feels well-constructed and I did not get confused by the back and forth in time. Recommended for fans of dark family sagas.
I was taken by the books claim to be the new Dark Vanessa and while there are similarities between the 2, the road Ingenue goes down is far more interwoven as part of Saskia’s life than Vanessa’s was. The topic of teenage girl/older man is explored in a far more gritty detail, so if that’s a trigger for you, keep away. I found myself trying hard to relate to Saskia and once I was past the 30% part I got there, and was so invested I barely let go until I was done. Prose is thick, begging you to slow down and take a moment - and you’ll be best served to do just that.
And here I thought The Ballerinas was phenomenal!
The Ingenue by Rachel Kapelke-Dale is astounding!
Very cleverly woven together, this is a deep character-driven story.
The writing is excellent and pleasantly paced, the characters are in-depth and true to life.
Saskia's journey is an inspiring one. Her growth was amazing and I truly enjoyed reading her story.
The words in this book are beautifully written.
I was fully absorbed and honestly wish I could un-read just to read again for the first time.
I adored the flowing writing, the setting, and the beautiful language.
The Ingenue comes roaring, it is a stunner of a novel, with electric prose.. desire and longing.
I tore through this unforgettable read.. And will highly recommend this novel!
I ultimately fell in love with this stunning cover and can't wait for release day to have it sitting on my shelf.
I tried to wait and read closer to pub date which is expected to release on 12|6, but couldn't wait any longer.
I now have a favorite author to add to my list.
Rachel is absolutely killing it in the writing world.
I felt honored to pre-read it.
“I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.”
St. Martin's Press,
Thank You for your generosity and gifting me a copy of this amazing eARC!
I will post my review to my platforms, blog, B&N and Waterstone closer to pub date.
I loved The Ballerinas and was excited to read the arc provided by NetGalley. This is my honest review.
The description saying this was a cross between My Dark Vanessa and The Queen’s Gambit was spot on. The novel is dark and the subject matter is heavy. The writing and pacing of the story were superb. The princess stories were wonderful. My favorite was the princess from Beauty and the Beast. Along with complicated family dynamics, a prodigy and a “me too” story, there is so much here to discuss. This would be an excellent book club pick. The ending alone will spark some heated discussions! Yes, I know exactly what I did there!
Oh my gosh I loved this one! I fell in love with both the characters and the storyline, and I look forward to adding a physical copy to my library very soon!
There’s been an influx of stories and novels investigating issues of consent and power dynamics within relationships. This novel does both. An inheritance gives the main character an opportunity to re-examine a relationship that was problematic. I really enjoyed the story despite it being a very serious topic. Sadly I think a lot of women have stories like this.
I really enjoyed that this book was a slow burn and it rewards you for getting past the slower start. This isn't the first book I've read by Rachel Kapelke-Dale, I had read The Ballerinas and really enjoyed the style and the characters in it. It had a great suspenseful atmosphere and I was on the edge of my seat from the first page. I enjoyed the plot of the book and getting pulled into the world. The characters were what I was hoping for and enjoyed getting to know them. I can't wait to read more from Rachel Kapelke-Dale.
"The beast in Saskia rose, had been waiting for just this kind of fight. “What, Mom? Like the girls in your stories?” Evie looked at her, eyes flashing. “Yeah. Just like the goddamn fairy princesses.”The princesses. The princesses who would always beat her, the princesses who would always win. The princesses who weren’t real in such important ways; ways her mother had always refused to see.“But your princesses . . . they never have to give anything up, Mom! The old stories weren’t perfect, but they were realer—they were truer in a way."
The beginning is a little slow but man, when it does pick up you'll never put it down. I had heard The Intense being compared to My Dark Vanessa (which I loved) and while there are similarities, Rachel Kapelke-Dale has a way with words that far exceeded that of the aforementioned book. The characters are well written which helps you develop relationships with them and that is important to me as a reader, connecting with them. A well deserved five stars! I can't wait for more from this author. Thank you to Netgalley, the publisher, and the author for giving me a chance to read this advance copy. Grab yours because you will NOT be disappointed!
A perfect book club pick - Heavy but ethereal, “The Ingenue” is a fairytale for feminists that weaves trauma and growth as Saskia copes with her past and determines her own legacy.
Rachel Kapelke-Dale's new novel The Ingenue follows former piano prodigy Saskia Kreis as she's forced to revisit her traumatic past and the romantic teenage relationship that changed her life. Set against a post #MeToo environment, the author delves into the expectations of talent, mother-daughter relationships, and what happens when you lose the things that once made you exceptional.
A dark read, the story moves back and forth between present time and Saskia's childhood, divulging secrets along the way. I especially enjoyed the revamped feminist versions of fairytales attributed to her author-mother and how Saskia ultimately came to understand her mother's full legacy. Not a read for those wanting something light, I enjoyed this dark, contemporary fairytale and the depth of the character development. This one will stay with me for a long time.
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an advance reader copy. Four and half stars.
I am Endlessly enthralled by Rachel Kapelke-Dales writing! This story is beautiful and dark and twisted and will keep you engaged through its entirety. Absolutely loved, auto-buy author for me!
Thank you NetGalley for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
This book was fantastic - reminded me of My Dark Vanessa, but lighter. It felt hopeful for victims, and more palatable for the reader.
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